Conversations with a friend about bleeding
An illustration of 3 happy people sitting down on a picnic rug with a pile of freshly picked flowers in the center of the rug

Conversations with a friend about bleeding

By Wendy Allen

There are times I don’t feel the cold. When we talk, there is warmth, a shared confessional booth with cups of tea and gluten free cake, that I remembered this time to buy for you. In this intimate space we say, I bled on the sheets last night, I had a funny tummy, I cried at the end of Strictly for no reason other than it was over.

There are times when I feel warm despite being vein blue with sickness, the deep womb pull of heavy bleeding eased in the moments I speak with you, this heat, the hot of intimate chat, these pockets of interaction help numb the contraction, make the shuddering tummy more bearable like a hot water bottle I place on my stomach – it helps, you help, you make me feel instantly better

when we laugh about the feeling of bleeding through jeans, not funny on your own, but when you’ve both had it happen in the past week, it isn’t a catastrophe, it is suddenly comedic. We all do it. We just don’t talk about it. Walking around with a ruby jewelled mark on the back of our trousers. We shudder at the thought of white jeans, over tea snigger about how we’d ruin them instantly.

There are times when silence becomes the best conversation, when our bleeding becomes the thing which brings us closer. It is ok to show how much pain you are in. There’s a key signature to suffering. We know the sound. We chat freely about things we’ve only ever internalised. We bleed on the floor, ruin new knickers, we don’t hide this at the bottom of the wash basket, we say, tell me about your bleeding, tell me everything –

Back to the scrapbook Home

View other submissions categories

Art Meme Poem Prose